Media Release: New App Supports Women with Disability Who Experience Violence

A graphic with the word Sunny in large white text below a circle shape, against a purple gradient. The logos of 1800RESPECT, WWDA, Google Play Store and Apple App Store appear at the base of the image.Women with disability will have improved access to violence information and support with the launch of a ground-breaking smartphone app today.

Sunny is a new app developed by 1800RESPECT, Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) and an expert advisory group of women with disability.

Sunny helps women with disability learn about violence, learn about rights, and contact 1800RESPECT for support.

The app was jointly launched today in Canberra by Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, the Hon Sarah Henderson MP, and Assistant Minister for Children and Families the Hon Michelle Landry MP.

Sunny uses easy to read language to explain different forms of violence, including sexual and reproductive health violence, physical, psychological, financial, and restraint violence.

The app also provides information on a range of rights, including discrimination, decision-making, sex, and safe relationships. Interactive stories are available to guide users through scenarios that can help them recognise violence, while an innovative custom keyboard function helps women with disability to communicate their own experiences.

Sunny supports women with disability to take action by calling a 1800RESPECT counsellor directly or via the National Relay Service or National Translation and Interpretation service. Sunny can also help users to call 000 if they are in immediate danger.

Monique Crowden, WWDA board member and expert advisory group member on the project, described the development of the Sunny app as “a great project because women with disabilities were included from the start, and at every stage of development”.

“We have the right to speak for ourselves and to make our own decisions. We have the right to live free of violence. Sunny helps us to do this”, Ms Crowden said.

Carolyn Frohmader, Executive Director of Women with Disabilities Australia, welcomed today’s launch,

“1 in 3 women experience violence worldwide, and sadly, we know that women with disability are even more likely to experience violence. Women with disability often face barriers to reporting violence and getting support, and there is a dearth of accessible information on the nature of violence and abuse that they face.

Sunny is one way we can begin to address these barriers”.

Acting President of Women with Disabilities Australia, Pamela Menere, commended 1800RESPECT for their commitment to placing the voices and experiences of women with disability at the centre of the project,

“Sunny is a ground-breaking resource for women with disability, not only because of its content, but because women with disability were involved at every stage of the development process. Sunny is an app made by women with disability, for women with disability, and of this, we couldn’t be more proud”.

WWDA is the national Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) for women and girls with disability in Australia. WWDA’s key purpose is to promote and advance the human rights and freedoms of women and girls with disability.

WWDA has partnered with 1800RESPECT since 2016 to make the service more accessible to women with disability.

The Sunny app is free and available now for iPhone and Android.

Media Inquiries:

Carolyn Frohmader
Executive Director
Women with Disabilities Australia
0438 535 123 /carolyn@wwda.org.au
http://www.wwda.org.au